Snow Patrol : When It’s All Over We Still Have To Clear Up

Second album for Glasgow-based indie-punksters Snow Patrol - who feature ex-Mondays guitarist Wags in their live line-up...

Scratch the surface of a genre, and invariably there’s a stereotype. Boil off the juice of a certain branch of indie then, and you’re essentially left with this residue – lovelorn boy bemoans his romantic luck.

Not doing much to buck the archetype are Snow Patrol, Belfast-born but now Glasgow-based and, with their second album, still convinced the best cure for hurt is songwriting. So far, so predictable, but at least on the fuzzy guitar-soaked ‘Never Gonna Fall In Love Again’ or ‘On Off’, they do it with a little twist of originality. Because, realising that for certain people a break-up can be a life-affirming event, they underscore their unassuming tunes with half-audible pure pop backgrounds.

While, at their best, they’re almost subliminally touching, their chosen mission to rechart the choppy waters of the heart isn’t very original and their music often follows suit. Sailing with the prevailing wind of sounding a bit Radiohead on ‘If I’d Found The Right Words To Say’ and ‘An Olive Grove Facing The Sea’, or the less [I]de rigeur[/I] Texas cast-off of ‘One Night Is Enough’, most of this album fails entirely to do what heartache really should – and that’s get under the skin.

Snow Patrol are saying nothing new. Moreover, never really getting beyond overwhelming politeness, they’re saying it

very quietly.

Jim Alexander